Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Tekke (Muhamed-Mehmed-Čauš) mosque, the architectural ensemble

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Status of monument -> National monument

Published in the “Official Gazette of BiH”, no. 90/06.

Pursuant to Article V para. 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 39 para. 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, at a session held from 14 to 20 March 2006 the Commission adopted a






The architectural ensemble of the Tekke (Muhamed-Mehmed-čauš) mosque in Konjic is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the mosque and the mosque harem.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 1306 (new survey), title sheet no. 596, cadastral municipality Konjic II, Konjic Municipality, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The provisions relating to protection measures set forth by the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of the Federation of  BiH nos. 2/02, 27/02 and 6/04) shall apply to the National Monument.




The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Government of the Federation) shall be responsible for ensuring and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve and display the National Monument.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with the basic data on the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.




To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated, which shall apply to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision:

  • all works are prohibited with the exception of research, conservation and restoration works, routine maintenance works, and works designed to display the monument, subject to approval from the Federation ministry responsible for regional planning and with the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),
  • the glazing of the mosque portico (sofa space) shall be removed and the original condition restored,
  • the harem shall be landscaped,
  • the wall facing the river Neretva shall be made good,
  • broken and damaged nišan tombstones shall be repaired and restored.

On the plots bordering the plot on which the National Monument is located, the construction of residential buildings of no more than two storeys (ground floor + 1) with a height of 6.50 to the base of the roof structure, and maximum dimensions of 11 x 11 m, shall be permitted.




            All executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision are hereby revoked.




Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Canton, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation thereof.




            The Government of the Federation, the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning, the Federation heritage protection authority, and the Municipal Authorities in charge of urban planning and land registry affairs, shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II to V of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.




The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.aneks8komisija.com.ba) 




Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.




This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption and shall be published in the Official Gazette of BiH.


            This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.



15 March 2006                                                  



Chair of the Commission

Dubravko Lovrenović


E l u c i d a t i o n




Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a “National Monument” is an item of public property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to be a National Monument pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina  and property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of  BiH no. 33/02) until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.

On 17 March 2003 the Commission received a petition from the Centre for Islamic Architecture, Sarajevo. Pursuant to the provisions of the law, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the Property as a National Monument, pursuant to Article V of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.




In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:

  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage,
  • Documentation on the location of the property,
  • Documentation on the current owner and user of the property,
  • Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.

The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the site are as follows:


1. Details of the property


The architectural ensemble of the Tekke (Muhamed-Mehmed-čauš) mosque  is in the inner urban zone of Konjic, in the quarter known as Orašje, by the regional road from Konjic to the Borac lake. The mosque is on the left bank of the river Neretva, right by the river itself, about 150 m upstream from the old Konjic bridge.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 1306 (new survey), title sheet no. 596, cadastral municipality Konjic II, owned by the Islamic Religious Community of Konjic, Konjic Municipality.

Access to the Tekke mosque is from the north-west, from Dr. Safet Mujić street.

Historical information

The Konjic area has been inhabited since Neolithic times. During Roman times there was a major crossroads here. Traces of settlements dating from Roman times have been found on both banks of the Neretva in the present-day urban area of Konjic (Mujezinović, 1998, p. 422; Mulić, 2003, p. 24).

During the 15th century, caravan waystations came into being on the road leading from Dubrovnik via the Neretva valley to central Bosnia. One of these waystations developed in Konjic, where a customs house had already been established during the reign of King Tvrtko (1353-1394). This customs house remained in existing throughout the first half of the 15th century (Anđelić, 1975, pp. 128, 312).

During the campaign by Sultan Mehmed el Fatih, lasting from early May to mid June 1463, the entire Konjic region was conquered (Anđelić, 1975, pp. 129, 313). 

During the Ottoman period, Konjic was a traffic hub and wayside station on the road from the Istanbul road via the Neretva valley to the sea. Between 1550 and 1574 Konjic market acquired the status of a kasaba or town, with the name Neretva, but the name Konjic remained in use until the beginning of the 18th century.  Between 1537 and 1586, the Ottomans began to erect a new settlement on the left bank of the Neretva, which they accorded the status of kasaba and the name of Belgraddžik.  In 1585 the kasaba had three Muslim mahalas and one non-Muslim (Mulić, 2003, p. 27). 

In 1633 there is reference to an independent kadiluk of Belgraddžik (Mali Biograd), with its headquarters in Konjic, which also began from then on to be known as Belgraddžik (Mujezinović, 1998, p. 422). 

Evliya Çelebi says that Konjic had six mahalas (on both banks of the Neretva), eight mosques, two madrassas, two Sufi tekkes, three maktabs, a small bathhouse and two hostelries (hans/khans), one of which was in the čaršija or commercial centre. Çelebi also notes that the opposite bank of the river was reached via a substantial wooden bridge (Çelebi, 1996, p. 477). 

In 1833 two nahijas gained the status of counties with the names Neretva and Konjice (Konjiće). With the formation of the Bosnian vilayet in 1865, they were merged into a single county with the title Sa Neretvom Konjice (Mea Neretva Konjiće), shortened to Konjiće in 1867.  The two kasabas were also merged into one, also known as Konjiće.  This remained unchanged until the start of the Austro-Hungarian period in 1878. The Austro-Hungarian authorities immediately transformed the county of Konjiće into a district known as Konjic, and the kasaba of Konjiće into a town also known as Konjic (Mulić, 2003, p. 27).

The Tekke (Muhamed-Mehmed-čauš) mosque is the only mosque in Konjic on the left bank of the river Neretva. It was built by Muhamed-Mehmed-čauš, son of Hajji Abdija, a native of Konjic. The vakufnama (deed of perpetual endowment) of this mosque, composed in 1622 (1031 AH) still exists. Mehmed-čauš set aside from his estate the sum of 700,000 silver akčas for this legacy.  Presumably the vakif (legator) intended half for the building of the mosque, and the other half for its maintenance (Mulić, 2003, p. 168).

The mosque came to be known as the Tekke mosque because there was a tekke (Sufi lodge) of the Khalwatiyyya order beside it, as noted in Mehmed-beg's vakufnama.

«In the harem of the Tekke mosque shall be one kitchen, a woodshed, and a tekke with ten premises for the poor and for dervishes.  The tekke should have its own elder (shaykh). . .»

In translation, the inscription on the plaque at the entrance to the mosque, in Turkish verse, reads:

Mehmed-beg, seeking God’s pleasure,

Spared neither effort nor wealth and erected this great work

All the heavenly angels thus made an abode for the benefactor

And expressed this chronogram for the mosque:

“May this good work be received by God.”

1058 [1658/1649)

(Mujezinović, 1998, pp. 427-428).

It is not known exactly when the Tekke mosque in Konjic was built. Various authorities have different opinions, based on such information as has been found.

Some authorities (Kreševljaković, Hasandedić, Mujezinović) claim that the first mosque was built by Hudoverdi(1) čauš in 1579, while Mulić is of the view that he had nothing to do with the Tekke mosque.

The vakufnama of Muhamed-čauš was composed in 1622, but the year in which the mosque was built, according to the inscription on the mosque, is 1648.  There is thus a difference of 27 years between the date of the vakufnama and the year given on the inscription. On this point, Mujezinović writes as follows: “Since the vakufnama has survived, and informs us that the Tekke mosque was erected in 1579, we can claim that the inscription on the tarih [chronogram] relates to major repairs carried out to the mosque. Probably the first mosque, built by the imperial čauš [official] (Hudoverdi čauš) Mehmed, who was a native of Konjic according to tradition, was burned down or otherwise demolished, and rebuilt by Mehmed-beg in 1648/1649” (Mujezinović, 1998, pp. 427-428).

According to Mulić, the mosque was probably built between 1622 and 149/1649. Mulić's assumption is that some considerable time after the mosque was built, the congregation decided to erect a memorial plaque in honour of Mehmed- čauš, and that the date given there is the date when the plaque was erected.

In 1848, Ali pasha Rizvanbegović renovated the Tekke mosque.

In 1917 the Austro-Hungarian authorities removed the lead cladding from the dome of the mosque, and in 1922 the mosque was again renovated (Bajić, 1999, p. 23).

In 1944 the mosque was badly damaged by bombing (Bajić, 1999, -. 23).

During the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina the building took about twenty direct hits, to the minaret, dome and side walls (information from representative of the Islamic Religious Community of Konjic).


2. Description of the property

The Tekke (Muhamed-čauš) mosque is the only domed mosque in Konjic.

It belongs to the typological group of single-space domed mosques. It has a central prayer space below the dome, roofed exterior sofas, and a slender stone minaret. The mosque is entered via the partly open stone sofas, which have wooden floors.  The sofas measure 13.35 x 4.20 m, and have a three-pitched roof clad with sheet copper. The dome and sofas were originally clad with sheet lead. The roof of the portico is supported by twelve wooden pillars approx. 18 x 18 in cross section standing direct on the stone of the sofa, which is approx. 60 cm in height.

The exterior dimensions of the mosque are approx. 10.00 x 10.00 m without the sofas.  The interior of the central space is roughly square, measuring 8.20 x 8.20 m. The walls are of stone, approx. 80 cm thick, and are plastered both inside and out.

All the volumes of the outer form of the mosque terminated in moulded stone cornices, which feature in the places where the roof projects beyond the wall face. All the domes, roofs, flashing, and spire of the minaret of this mosque are clad with sheet copper.

            The dome rests on an octagonal drum.  The transition from the square ground plan to the drum is effected via four trompes.  Each trompe consists of three sections accentuated at the top by an arch.  These arches, along with eight blind arches, constitute a frieze of arches in the area belw the drum.  There is an oculus in each of the blind arches.  On the inside, the drum is oval in shape, while on the outside it is octagonal.  There is a window in each face of the drum, eight windows in all. The walls of the octagonal drum are reinforced on the outer corners by pilasters.

            All the inside walls of the mosque are plastered and painted yellow, pale yellow, white, green and light green; the dome is painted light blue(2).The floor was originally paved in stone, but in 1922 the paving stones were replaced by a wooden floor. The floor now consists of floorboards, recently laid (information from representative of the Islamic Religious Community of Konjic).

The mihrab of the Tekke mosque is on the south-east wall of the mosque, facing the qibla. The mihrab is approx. 2.10 m wide, and consists of the semicircular mihrab niche with a diameter of 50 cm, and a height (from the floor of the mosque to the top of the mihrab crown) of approx. 3.20 m. The opening of the niche terminates in a five-row stepped stalactite decoration.  These stalactite decorations gradually narrow to enclose the niche, terminating in the mihrab crown at the apex. The mihrab niche is surrounded on three sides by a stone frame projecting outwards from the wall face by approx. 20 cm. It is approx. 30 cm and approx. 3.85 m high. The frame and lower part of the mihrab niche are painted dark green. Between the stone frame and the mihrab niche is a light green-painted, undecorated areea. This part is separated from the niche area by a moulded stong string course 25 cm wide, painted dark green.

           The mimber is on the south-east wall of the mosque to the right of the mihrab, 1.25 m from the mihrab and 0.95 m from the south-west wall. The mimber is approx. 2.90 m in length, approx. 0.75 m in width, and approx. 6.15 m in height with the finial on top. The mimber is of stone and is composed of the entrance area, which consists of a massive frame, the stone stairway, and the baldaquin with a pyramidal canopy. The canopy of the mimber is supported by an octagonal drum resting on four wooden pillars linked by pointed arches. The stairway consists of 10-12 steps with a landing at the top. There is a high wooden stairrail on both sides of the mimber stairway, decorated with geometric openings at the sides and a massive handraiil. The stairway is closed on each side, with a passageway below the kjurs. The mimber is painted alternately white and light green.

           The mahfil of the Tekke mosque occupies the entire length of the north-west wall, above the entreance door. It is of wooden construction, and rests on two rectangular wooden uprights measuring approx. 15 x 13 cm.  The mahfil itself is approx. 8.20 m long and approx. 2.60 m wide, and is floored with wooden boards. The wooden balustrade of the mahfil is approx. 80 cm in height. The entrance to the mahfil is via the narrow spiral stairway of the minaret.

            The mosque has a total of 26 windows, on all four facades of the building, arranged on four levels. The lowest level has 8 double windows, two on each facade. The windows are rectangular, recently made of whitebark pine wood, and given a coat of natural-coloured preservative. They measure approx. 90 x 145 cm and have stone frames approx. 23 cm thick terminating in a pointed arch. Apart from the windows on the south-east (mihrab) side, the old wooden shutters on the inside have survived on these lower-level windows. These shutters are made of solid walnut wood in three panels, with an iron decoration in the form of a scabbard in the space between the panels.  All the lower-level windows are fitted with wrought-iron grids.

The second level has six single windows set directly above those of the lower level, two on each façade apart from the north-west. The top of the windows is in the form of a vault. They are of pine wood, of recent manufacture, and have been given a coat of natural-coloured preservative. There are bracing beams in the window niche below the arched section. These windows are smaller than those of the lower level, but almost exactly the same size and shape as those of the drum. Above these windows are the circular oculi, four in all, one on each façade.  There are eight arched windows on the drum, with a bracing beam below the pointed arch.

            The portal of the mosque is simple, and projects outwards from the north-west wall by about 40 cm. The portal consists of solid oak, rectangular double doors, surrounded by an arched stone frame approx. 28 cm thick. They measure approx. 2.25 m wide and 2.20 m high. There is a stone plaque measuring 72 x 45 cm above the door, bearing an inscription.

The tall, slender, twelve-sided stone minaret was built to the right of the entrance to the mosque, by the south-west wall.  It is approx. 36 m in height.  It is of tufa, plastered and painted white.The entrance to the minaret is from the prayer area of the mosque, in the part below the mahfil, in the south-west wall.The base of the minaret is in the form of a polygonal solid. The transition from the base to the shaft of the minaret is executed in the form of a trapezoid prism, with a shallow, moulded stone string course and rhomboid decorations painted green.The minaret has a šerefe (balcony) with a stone balustrade. The spire of the minaret is clad with sheet copper (originally sheet lead). The minaret is topped by an alem (finial) made of copper.

           To the north-east of the mosque is a small new abdesthana (premises for ritual ablutions), a single-storey building measuring approx. 2.50 x 7.00 m, built in 2003.

           The mosque courtyard is surrounded on two sides by a stone wall with an average height of 2.0 m. The longer side borders on Dr. Safet Mulić street; the entrance gateway to the mosque premises is in the shorter, north-east side.

Harem by the Tekke mosque

The harem by the Tekke mosque is to the south-wests of the mosque itself.          

           According to Mujezinović, the burial-ground beside the Tekke mosque contained some fifty nišan tombstones, small in size and of simple workmanship, with no craftsman's mark and most of them without an epitaph.

            Those that do have epitaphs, which are short and simple, show that the following are buried here:

-     Ismail, son of Alija, d. 1237 (1821/22)

-     Mula Mehmed, son of Osman Alagić, 1264 (1847/48)

-     Ago Alagić, son of Džafer, 1271 (1854/55)

-     Dževahira, daughter of Mula Salih, 1293 (1876)

-     Hajji Muhamed Alagić, 1318 (1900)

(Mujezinović, 1998. p. 428)

There are currently some small-sized twenty nišan tombstones of simple workmanship, with no epitaph, in the harem of the Tekke mosque.


3. Legal status to date

            In the procedure prior to the adoption of a final decision to designate, documents concerning the protection of the property were inspected and the following was ascertained:          

            The Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 listed the Tekke mosque in Konjic as a Category III monument.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

            The Tekke mosque has undergone interventions on a number of occasions.          

-     In 1848, Ali pasha Rizvanbegović renovated the Tekke mosque.

-     In 1917 the Austro-Hungarian authorities removed the lead cladding from the dome of the mosque.

-     In 1922 the mosque was renovated and the stone floor replaced by a wooden one. The dome was also clad with sheet metal at this time.

-     In 1934 the river Neretva in spate washed away the lower harem wall and damaged the mosque wall.

-     In 1944 the mosque was badly damaged by bombing.

-     In 1965 the Institute for the Protection of Monuments in Mostar carried out restorations to the entrance portico (sofa area) and repaired the courtyard wall.

-     During the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina the building took about twenty direct hits, to the minaret, dome and side walls.

-     Between 1999 and 2004 major repairs to the mosque were carried out, and the damaged caused by shelling was made good:

§          The existing sheet lead cladding of the dome, three-pitched roof of the portico, minaret and all flashings were replaced by sheet copper;

§          The facade and interior were repainted;

§          New floorboards were laid in the mosque;

§          The existing deal woodwork was replaced by new pine woodwork;

§          White deal double doors were installed at the entrance to the mosque;

§          New double oak doors were installed in the mosque portico;

§          The portico (sofa area) was glazed;

§          The single-storey abdesthana with toilet was built in the mosque courtyard.


5. Current condition of the property

            An on-site inspection conducted on 28 February 2006 ascertained as follows:        

      • The Tekke mosque is in good structural condition.
      • The nišan tombstones are in poor condition, some broken and some damaged.


6. Specific risks

Negative outside influence that could endanger the monument are plain to see during the rainy season, when the level of the river Neretva rises and floods the harem, thereby posing a threat to the mosque building.




Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH nos. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.

The Decision was based on the following criteria:

A.  Time frame

B.  Historical value

E. Symbolic value

E.ii. religious value

E.v. significance for the identity of a group of people

F. Townscape/ Landscape value

F.ii. meaning in the townscape

F.iii.  the building or group of buildings is part of a group or site

G. Authenticity

G.v. location and setting


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-     Copy of cadastral plan and ownership details

-     Photodocumentation (photographs taken by the Commission)

-     Drawing – ground plan of the mosque (surveyed by the Commission)



During the procedure to designate the architectural ensemble of the Tekke mosque in Konjic as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:


1954. Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Stari hercegovački gradovi, (Old Herzegovinian towns) Naše starine II, pp. 9-10, Sarajevo, 1954.


1975.  Anđelić, Pavao, Historijski spomenici Konjica i okoline I (Historic monuments of Konjic and environs), Konjic Municipal Assembly, Konjic, 1975


1996. Çelebi, Evliya, Putopis (Bosnian translation of his Seyahatnamesi or Travelogue), Sarajevo Publishing, Sarajevo, 1996


1997. Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovina III (Islamic epigraphics of BiH II), 3rd. ed., Cultural Heritage Series, Sarajevo Publishing, Sarajevo, 1997


1999. Bajić, Esad, Monografija Medžlisa Islamske Zajednice Konjic sa posebnim osvrtom na džamije i druge spomenike islamske kulture na ovom području (Monograph of the Council of the Islamic Community of Konjic, with particular reference to mosques and other monuments of Islamic culture in the area), Konjic, 1999


2000. Ayverdi, dr. Ekrem Hakki, Avrupada Osmanli Mimari Eserleri, Yugoslavya, II  3. kitap, Istanbul 2000


2001. Mulić, Jusuf, Konjic i njegova okolina u vrijeme osmanske vladavine (1464-1878) (Konjic and environs in the Ottoman period [1464-1878]), Konjic Municipality, Konjic, 2001


2003. Mulić, Jusuf, «Dvije značajne godišnjice grada Konjica: 620 godina prvog zvaničnog pomena grada i 320 godina od izgradnje bivšeg kamenog mosta»(Two important anniversaries for the town of Konjic: 620 years since the first official reference to the town, and 320 years since the construction of the first stone bridge), Hercegovina 15-16 – periodical for the cultural and historical heritage, Archives of Herzegovina, Mostar, 2003.


(1) Hudoverdi Bosna Muhamed-beg, son of  Alija, was an imperial servant who was promised to imperial čauš, but has nothing to do with the Tekke mosque. His vakufnama, dated 1579, was written for an unidentified mosque (Mulić, 2003, p. 170)

(2) The information received from a representative of the Islamic Religious Community of Konjic is that the facade and interior of the building were painted between 1999 and 2004, and that the original decoration was retained.

Tekke mosque in KonjicSouthwest facadeNortheast facadePorch and harem of the mosque, February 2004
Porch of the mosque, March 2006 Harem of the mosqueInterior of the mosque - mahfil (gallery)Interior, dome
InscriptionEntrance doorMimberMihrab

BiH jezici 
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